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When I sold my Phil & Teds Sport Double pushchair a few weeks back I had thought that I would do fine without a double stroller. My two year old is a strong walker and if i am frank, since returning to work it is only the occassional time where I have both children out and about at once and that's usually somewhere like Asda where I have them both in the trolley. However, returning to work means that the childminder will have them Full-Time and will need a double stroller available until my toddler is more trustworthy. I thought about it a lot and had narrowed my choices down to a Silver Cross POP duo or a Maclaren Twin Techno. It came down to weight in the end, the POP is over a kilogram lighter than the Maclaren and so that was the choice made. I have really come to enjoy my single POP stroller so hoped that the Duo would be just as good.
The Pop Duo is in the Jet Sport fabric. The box is the standard Silver Cross design, it is black and while and has a picture of a baby on it. I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the box as it fitted in the boot of my car so that was a good sign. I was also pleasantly surprised that almost everything was assembled when I took the stroller out of the box. What I found inside was;
The Stroller 1 Wheel to push on Rain-Cover Hoods Instructions 2
x Head hugger 4 x Strap pads
So after loosening the packaging strap and opening the stroller body I popped on the middle front wheel, popped on the hoods and set the head-huggers in to the seat units. I was happy with the way it looked although my initial thoughts were that the seat units seemed very narrow.
Of course to test this out I immediately acquired my two year old from his mega-blocks to test it out. He was actually remarkably comfortable. Especially when you bear in mind that he is approaching an age where he does not need a stroller very often. There was plenty of room between his head and the hood. I did have to remove the Head-hugger but he is long past needing one anyway.
I popped the baby (6 months) in to the other side and she was perfect size for the head-hugger and strap pads. Then I did what I was itching to do from the moment I opened the box; I took both children a quick lap of the kitchen.
Now, this is no Phil and Teds Sport. When you consider you are paying much less and that this is side-by-side, so it pushes much more differently. Firstly the weight distribution of a 6 month old and a 2.5 year old is obviously uneven and so you do feel a substantial heaviness on one side, but even through this it was quite easy to steer and I certainly was not unhappy with our maiden voyage. Of course, taking a stroller a quick scoot around the kitchen is a lot different from taking the children out, but stay tuned... we went out then!
I took the Pop Duo into town, I had to take a quick nip into Homebase to buy some picture hooks so it was the ideal opportunity for a test run. It was early in the morning so Homebase was quiet which was perfect as its a bit embarrassing learning to push a pram!
We got out of the car and it took a few minutes to get the stroller all set up. Then to get both children in was moderately easy. The 5 point harness is exactly the same as the single pop- you loop the top straps into the waist straps then snap into the disc shape. This is a bit of a faff, but does mean that the children cannot unclip themselves with ease, which is definitely a plus with a 2 year old.
Steering the stroller to the doors was heavy as I am used to a single stroller but it was something that I got the hang of quite quickly and didnt give it a second thought. The aisles in Homebase are spacious and we managed to go around the whole bottom floor reall easily but we gave the second floor a miss- there was no way I was pulling this thing up stairs!
The baby was very content and my toddler really enjoyed having her beside him as company. When we used the Phil & Teds sport double he barely even knew she was along with him so having them side-by-side was great from that aspect. We checked out our purchases and left the store. It was a problem-free trip around the shop and I was very pleased with the outcome and the stroller.
Later that night my husband was with us and we took the children into Asda. I was interested to find out what he thought of the Pop Duo and so he pushed both children around the store while I did the shopping. Everything went fine there too until it was time to check-out and he could not fit through the gap with the stroller and so I had to pay on my own and he had to walk around all the tills to get back to me on the other side! Not really a huge problem as we could have probably used one of the wide aisle check-outs at the end.
After that, I decided that it really wasn't brilliant for taking in to the shop in our town as most stores on the Main Street are boutiques and the Pop would have taken up the whole floor space in there. It is perfect for walking around large stores and it isnt overly big for footpaths but it would struggle for steering in small areas.
Over all, I am very happy with the pop duo. I don't think the perfect double exists, but this does suit our needs and it will be sticking around for a few months yet anyway